Christmas Waste You Can and Can’t Recycle | CRL News

Christmas Waste You Can and Can’t Recycle

Whilst Christmas is always filled with excitement and joy, it always comes with a lot of waste. In a recent survey, it was found that the UK sent 277,000 miles of wrapping paper to landfill, two million turkeys and 17 million brussel sprouts were thrown out in the same year*.

And with climate change having been in the news so much recently, recycling as much as possible is likely to be a thought on everyone’s mind. In this article we share what can and can’t be recycled from your Christmas waste.

Wrapping paper

Some wrapping paper can be recycled, as long as it doesn’t have any sellotape on it.

To find out if you can recycle the wrapping paper that litters your house, use the scrunch test; if it stays scrunched up it can be recycled, if it unfolds, put it in the general waste bin.

If the wrapping paper has any finishing touches, such as glitter or a gloss then it will need to go into your general waste bin.

If you have an office secret Santa coming up, it might be worth thinking about what you are going to do with all that wrapping paper. You can dispose of both recyclable and non-recyclable wrapping papers at our Recycling Centres in Wimborne and Evercreech.


Cardboard is used for a lot of packaging, whether it be the packaging around a new toy that was under the Christmas tree, or packaging of some festive food that is laid on the table.

Cardboard can definitely be recycled, so make sure to put it in the recycling bin.

Both our Dorset and Somerset recycling centres will accept your Christmas cardboard waste recycling. Recycling your cardboard with us is easy as there is no need to book an appointment, we are affordable and have various payment options.

Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are easily recyclable. Most of the time they are made of cardboard or paper, and we all know those materials can be put in the recycling bin.

Just keep an eye out for any glitter though; as soon as there is a little glitter on the card it will have to go into the general waste bin.

Alternatively, you could reuse this year’s Christmas cards as next year’s present tags.

Once Christmas is over, and you take your Christmas decorations down, throw your Christmas cards in with your cardboard recycling and bring them to either of our recycling centres.

Plastic Packaging

Like cardboard, plastic is a common material used in packaging. Recycling plastic is a little more complicated than cardboard. Plastic always has a symbol to show how recyclable it is, so it is a good idea to have a look at that and check your local council’s website to see if they collect it.

Any clear and coloured plastic bottles can be recycled.

Polystyrene and Bubble Wrap

In an effort to protect things in the Christmas post or piles of presents, we wrap gifts up in polystyrene or bubble wrap.

Unfortunately, neither of these materials can be recycled, so will need to go into the general waste bin.

Our sites are fully licensed to accept general and mixed waste. And if you don’t have any hazardous waste with you, you don’t need to book an appointment; just drive over.

Food Waste

Despite how hard we all might try, it is inevitable that there will be food leftover.

Obviously, food can not be recycled but it is important to put any food that can’t be eaten straight into your food waste bin, and stay clear of the general waste bin.

Bottle and Cans Waste

Christmas parties, whether at home or a work one, often include booze. Meaning the aftermath is a lot of empty bottles and cans.

Glass bottles and aluminium cans can both be recycled.

Both our sites are able to recycle your glass bottles, so don’t worry about the clean up after your party, it can come to us.

Christmas Crackers

Once you have removed all the fun things from the crackers, like the little gift, the ‘hilarious’ jokes and the Christmas hats, the cardboard can go into the recycling bin, as long as it is made of simple card.

If your recycling bin starts to overflow, you can bring your cardboard recycling to us in Wimborne and Evercreech.

Christmas Trees

Christmas trees can be recycled into wood chippings. Many local authorities will have collection days in early January to collect people’s real Christmas trees ready to turn them into wood chippings.

Fake Christmas trees can’t be recycled, so if you are wanting to get rid of your fake tree, we suggest you take it to a charity shop.

Christmas Decorations

Usually we reuse our decorations each year, but sometimes they get a little too worn down to be displayed.

Some Christmas decorations can be recycled but some will need to go into your general waste bin.

If you display a real wreath and it is glitter and glue free, it can go into the garden waste.

Your garden waste can be dropped off at our recycling centres in Wimborne and Evercreech. Our sites are clearly sign posted and have plenty of space, so if you are disposing of more than a wreath, it will be easy and stress free.

Fairy lights are waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) and should be disposed of at a waste recycling centre like us. We accept WEEE waste at our recycling centres in Evercreech, Somerset and Wimborne, Dorset.

Unfortunately, tinsel and broken baubles can’t be recycled in the UK, even if they are plastic or glass, so they need to go into a general waste bin.

If your outside bin starts to look a little full, you can bring your general waste to either our recycling centre in Dorset or Somerset.

Still unsure?

Hopefully, this article has cleared up any confusion, but if you are still unsure about what can and can’t be recycled this Christmas, and would like a little more guidance, please feel free to contact our friendly, and helpful team on 01202 331560 or email us on


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